Rorate Caeli


Hervé Yannou, the Rome correspondent for the French national daily Le Figaro, reports the following today:

La Fraternité Saint-Pie X rejette les propositions du Pape et affirme qu'elle n'acceptera jamais Vatican II.

It is no. Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior of the schismatic [sic] Fraternity of Saint Pius X, and leader of the Integrist [sic] Catholics, has rejected the hand extended by the Vatican last week to reunite with Church ranks. While the official response has not yet been published [sic], there is no doubt: Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre's faithful do not wish, twenty years after their excommunication, [to profit from] the historic occasion which Benedict XVI has offered them to defitively reconcile with the Holy See.
RORATE note. This is repulsive: tendentious punditry dressed up as a news report. It may well be that the content of the response sent by Bishop Fellay last Thursday is absolutely negative regarding the conditions proposed by Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos, but M. Yannou has certainly based his "report" solely on recycled news, such as the telephone interview granted by the FSSPX/SSPX spokesman, Father Lorans, to some news agencies and to the interview granted by Bishop Richard Williamson to Petrus. Not a single word of the letter itself is to be found in Yannou's article.

Some repetition of Yannou's opinion piece is likely to be seen in news dispatches and large newspapers throughout the day, as was probably his intent: not to report but to influence. Since this poor weblog has always had as its main goal, from its first news translation, to help those who read it to discriminate what seems to be true reporting (or, at least, credible rumors) from biased distortions, we warn our readers against the distorters during these very delicate days. (Tip: Le Forum Catholique)

[Update: On the other hand, the most trustworthy French daily, Présent, reports the following today: "What we may accurately say at the current hour is that Bishop Fellay has certainly answered, in the established time, the cardinalatial letter. And that some underline that he would have been given a positive notice of receipt..."]


  1. This seems as if it may be exactly the kind of jumping-the-gun style slam-reporting that the Holy Father and Card. Castrillon might like to trump! I could be wrong about that, but these days that kind of slanted journalism usually comes back to bite one!

  2. Anonymous11:32 AM

    I think we have to be patient and see. Perhaps the reporter is, as the Rorate Coeli commentary implies, trying to throw a spanner in the works. Fr Z on his blog had a 'tip' from someone who had recently been to Econe, indicating that the situation was more positive - though this is, in itself, not certain. If SSPX said 'no' to the Holy Father, then their position becomes more graver. Let us pray for reconciliation and truthful reporting. Journalists have a moral duty to be truthful.

  3. In all matters such as these one should never trust the newsmedia. In addition, there is plenty of time for reflection and negotiation by both parties. To precipitate action will provoke reaction. It is difficult to imagine how any "ultimatum" can yield an agreement, especially one whose conditions are already mostly fulfilled in spirit by SSPX.

    Certainly, those who have only antipathy for SSPX will bay for blood. What an immense shame that people do not contemplate the whole story with more maturity. There are two sides and one must applaud New Catholic for giving space to both.

    Ostracising and excluding SSPX will do absolutley nothing to rectify the post-conciliar malaise that is cancer-like destroying the ecclesiastical body with its malignant neomodernist liturgy and its phenomenological subjectivisation of doctrine.

    On the contrary, SSPX, alongside all truly authentic traditional organs of orthodox Roman Catholic Christendom are essential elements in the movement by Pope St Pius X to restore all things in Christ.

  4. Anonymous1:01 PM

    While the response provided by Bp Fellay yesterday has been applauded as Catholic and charitable in that it only opined that Card Hoyos and the Holy Father are acting in "hastiness", as a moral supporter of the FSSPX, I am very disappointed in the response itself. I see no benefit to holding a response that affirms love and filial respect for the Holy Father, which seemed to me the minimalist modicum to help the Holy Father save face against the several worldwide bishops who are hellbent against both Tradition and the SSPX in a public re-union. Certainly, the 5 points did not demand unholy obedience, and so I definitely see this as unnecessary politicking and delaying which gains nothing but as Bp Fellay himself stated does cool things down witht the Vatican. To what end do we want to "cool" things down? The SSPX has all to gain from public make up witht the Holy Father, which the current irregular condition can always remain a trump card to be used in genuine emergencies.

    My prayer is that the delay will not last more than a year till June 30, 2009. To imagine that the Vatican will somehow recant of V2 is not quite realistic at this time. But the Holy Father in his visit to the US did preach forcefully that a nation's laws must hold firmly to God's laws. Certainly their is no pertinacious heresy there, but rather a very explicit seed of the true Catholic teaching on the Social Kingship of Christ. The Holy Father has proven that Arcbp Lefevebre's original cause of distrust - that the Mass of Tradition is in peril from the Vatican - can no longer be taken seriously.

    I thus implore Bp Fellay and SSPX members to take the olive branch soon; don't let the fire of love cool down; and then, the modernists and haters of Tradition will have no further cause + on paper+ to calumniate your good names. While you can help the Holy Father work for nations and individuals and socieities to align their laws and habits with the Divine positive law and the Natural law and therefore *truly* work for the Social Kingship of Christ

    In JMJ


  5. Good of you to draw attention to how rotten this story is. But while things like this may slightly influence public opinion - that small portion of the public that actually cares - I'm sure that the principal parties concerned know what the facts are.

  6. Thompson's article shows us all the more reason why the SSPX should reach out to the Holy Father during his hour of need.

  7. Anonymous2:09 PM

    No. Benedict does not need that remnant of a dead and hateful philosophy. Instead he has sensibly joined with us to make the changes we need for a true universal religion.

  8. "...I am very disappointed in the response itself."

    Really? And you know what it was? That is surprising, since the contents of his reply has not been made public, and even the author of this spiteful and hasty editorial doesn't know what it said. Actually the letter concerned only Bp. Fellay directly, there has been no response "from the SSPX" nor will there be. They weren't asked. He is answering for himself and himself alone. In that regard Williamson and de Gallereta are both expressing their own personal opinions along with everybody else on what should be done, but their opinions do not actually constitute an official response, since they weren't concerned with the document sent to Bp. Fellay. Perhaps that's why they're sniping like just about everybody else: they're feeling left out. I'm not being cynical, just pointing out.

    Indeed, we will be waiting to see how things progress, but there has been alot of unnecessary angst and speculation wasted on this issue by parties not fully aware of the actual lines of communications which are involved. Seems like everyone just has to get their two-bits in. Patience.

  9. Is there a hint of paranoia on this page?

  10. Anonymous2:45 PM

    The generally respected Le Monde, with Henri Tincq, got in ahead of Le Figaro. See (28 June)

  11. Le Monde is not generally respected..., but an essentially biased newspaper. It even got the date wrong: Fellay sent his answer on Thursday, not on Friday.

  12. Anonymous3:23 PM

    "behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world"

    He will always be with Peter and the Church.

  13. Anonymous3:33 PM

    The mainstream media is at best pig ignorant in these matters. I'd suggest that only gluttons for punishment pay it any attention. Consider for example the complete fantasy of Andrea Tornielli's original piece. The only question is whether he made it up, or his sources did, or it was a joint effort.

  14. Those of us who want to see a reconciliation with full respect for Tradition will do well to remember that there are literally thousands, perhaps millions, who want to see the reconciliation fail for their own selfish reasons.

    Remember what our holy father said: "Pray for me that I may not flee for fear of the wolves". Let us not fall victim to the Evil One who goes about the world seeking the ruin of souls and let not our own pride get in the way.

    St. Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles, intercede for us.

  15. Could those aweful comments by "yitzhak" please be deleted as they have no bearing on the conversation here.

  16. Anonymous5:59 PM

    I don't believe one word of the report in "Le Figaro". As our commentator here has rightly noticed, it is apparently not based on the letter sent by Bishop Fellay. There is no such claim. It is based on stale news.

    Fr. Zuhlsdorf's contact reports quite the opposite, although he warns that this is second-hand unconfirmed information (something no journalist will ever admit to!). He reports that the letter sent by Fellay was well received and that 'Rome' sent Fellay a positive response.

    So we now have contradictory reports.

    I am not saying that Le Figaro must be wrong, only that, at this point, we have no reason to believe it. They are just trying to stimulate circulation of their rag.


  17. Anonymous6:21 PM

    I implore every reader to persist in their prayers for a positive outcome. To those who will attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for the Feast of the Most Precious Blood of our Lord tomorrow: please find it in your heart to remember the SSPX and the Holy Father. To those who can't make it to church, please pray the Litany of the Most Precious Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ which is in your missal.

  18. Anonymous6:45 PM

    Dan Hunter, Matthew 28:20 does not stand isolated in Scripture.

    The great theologian Fr. Cornelius a Lapide SJ* and others teach that the Great Apostasy must occur before the end of the world. Fr. Phil Wolf FSSP (not SSPX!) has elaborated on this.


    2 Thessalonians 3-12 Let no man deceive you by any means, for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed , the son of perdition, Who opposeth, and is lifted up above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself as if he were God. Remember you not, that when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now you know what withholdeth, that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity already worketh; only that he who now holdeth, do hold, until he be taken out of the way. And then that wicked one shall be revealed whom the Lord Jesus shall kill with the spirit of his mouth; and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming, him, Whose coming is according to the working of Satan, in all power, and signs, and lying wonders, And in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish; because they receive not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying: That all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity. But we ought to give thanks to God always for you, brethren, beloved of God, for that God hath chosen you first fruits unto salvation, in sanctification of the spirit, and faith of the truth: Whereunto also he hath called you by our gospel, unto the purchasing of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast; and hold the traditions which you have learned, whether by word, or by our epistle.

    Daniel 9 :27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many, in one week: and in the half of the week the victim and the sacrifice shall fall: and there shall be in the temple the abomination of desolation: and the desolation shall continue even to the consummation, and to the end.

    Consider also the prophesy of St. Francis of Assisi:

    A short time before the holy Father’s death [St. Francis’ death], he called together his children and warn them of the coming troubles, saying: “Act bravely, my Brethren; take courage, and trust in the Lord. The time is fast approaching in which there will be great trials and afflictions; perplexities and dissension, both spiritual and temporal, will abound; the charity of many will grow cold, and the malice of the week it will increase. The Devils will have unusual power, the immaculate purity of our Order, and of others, will be so much obscured that there will be very few Christians who will obey the true Sovereign Pontiff and the Roman Church with loyal hearts and perfect charity. At the time of this tribulation a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavor to draw many into error and death. Then the scandals will be multiplied, our Order will be divided, and many others will be entirely destroyed, because they will consent to error instead of opposing it. There will be such diversity of opinions and schisms among the people, the religious and the clergy, that, except those days were shortened, according to the words of the Gospel, even the elect would be led into error, were they not specially guided, amid such great confusion, by the immense mercy of God. Then our rule and manner of life will be violently opposed by some, and terrible trials will come upon us. Those who are found faithful will receive the crown of life; but woe to those who, trusting solely in their Order, shall fall into tepidity, for they will not be able to support the temptations permitted for the proving of the elect. Those who preserve their fervour and adhere to virtue with love and zeal for the truth, will suffer injuries and persecutions as rebels and schismatics; for their persecutors, urged on by the evil spirits, will say that they are rendering a great service to God by destroying such pestilent men from the face of the earth. But the Lord will be the refuge of the afflicted, and will save all who trust in him. In order to be like their Head, these, the elect, will act with confidence, and by their death will purchase for themselves eternal life; choosing to obey God rather than men, they will fear nothing, and they will prefer to perish rather than consent to falsehood and perfidy. Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it underfoot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days our Lord Jesus Christ will send them not a true pastor, but a destroyer.” --- Works of The Seraphic Father St. Francis of Assisi, translated by a religious of the order, London: R. Washbourne, 1882. pp. 248-250.

    Consider, my “charitable” Novus Ordinarians, that the Great Apostasy may be here and that you may be defending the indefensible — operation of error, abomination of desolation, and defection from Tradition.

    Anonymous (because this is NOT about me; it’s about the Truth)

    * Heretofore the works of Fr. Cornelius a Lapide SJ were available only in Latin. His commentaries of Scripture are, for the first time, being translated into English:

  19. Anonymous11:17 PM

    Fr. Z:

    No sooner do I get back from Mass but… one of my spies, a very reliable person whom I trust, sends me this:

    "I have heard from a source who has first-hand information that Cardinal Castrillon is happy with the answer from Bishop Fellay and has sent him a brief note in response.

    I have also heard that the Cardinal will pass on the letter to His Holiness.

    So behind the scenes it actually looks much brighter than the impression given by liberal press or some of the … SSPX bishops."

    This is a very hopeful message. I can take this as a confirmation of something I posted before.

    I am hearing various things about this, and their cumulative effect reinforces the hope I did not abandon, even in the face of some of the press accounts and stories I have read.

  20. Anonymous1:00 AM

    I heartily agree that we should delete yitzhak's comments. They're obnoxious, and one can't help but assume, disingenuous. But, while we're at it, lets remove the comments from the obnoxious faux-pious
    commenter who leaves the same post on every page dealing with this issue and signs, "Anonymous, because this is about the Truth, not about me," or some other such nonsense."

    New Catholic, on a side note, I know that you have been getting flack recently. I just wanted to thank you for the good work you are doing in running this blog. It is an excellent source of accurate information, and some of the most level-headed commentary in the Catholic press today.

    Melchior Cano

  21. I am trying to imagine how they would be understood to fit into the fabric of the Catholic Church if they gave the proposals that we have seen the thumbs up...

    From my experience with them, it is rather unlikely that they would be asked to come teach in non-SSPX seminaries, or that non-SSPX would be invited to theirs... Maybe they would do wider chaplaincy work, I can't imagine most of them supplying for most parishes even in the EF...

  22. Anonymous1:54 AM

    "New Catholic, on a side note, I know that you have been getting flack recently. I just wanted to thank you for the good work you are doing in running this blog. It is an excellent source of accurate information, and some of the most level-headed commentary in the Catholic press today."

    Amen. I wanted to express similar sentiments when you were being castigated, but by then, the comment box was closed.